By Gabriela Castro
Over the last couple of years, video games have become the fastest growing form of entertainment, thanks to the internet and a dedicated fanbase. While gaming has increased in popularity, there has been also been an increase in distrust of reviewers in the gaming world. To develop trust with gamers, you need to create consistent, authentic reviews. To start, here are five tips for writing a gaming review.
1. Be familiar with the franchise.
Before you start playing the game, familiarize yourself with the franchise. There are some reviewers out there that don’t understand the franchise or how beloved it can be. So, before you start playing the game, do some research. Research why this game is so beloved, become familiar with the story so you can get an idea while playing and understand the gameplay. A few ways to research the franchise are watching videos explaining the story, asking a familiar friend who knows about the franchise or experiencing it first hand by buying the games.
2. Play the Game But... Take Notes
You may think taking notes during play is silly, but it’s not. While playing the game, you need to take notes on how the game is presented, how you feel about the story and how the gaming mechanics are working. When playing the game, it’s important to note that it may take longer for you to finish than expected, depending on the gameplay. Games can be shorter and some can be very long. So before you start, make sure you get comfortable, get out your laptop, pen and notebook, and bring an open mind.
3. What to look for while playing
While playing a game, describe the features of the game, such as gameplay, game mechanics, graphics and the story or main plot. During the gameplay, you need to identify what type of video game you are playing and describe it to your audience. Describing the gaming mechanics is crucial because you need to tell the audience if the game works, why or why not, and what system you are playing the game on.
4. Be Careful with your Words
You may have heard the infamous quote “Too Much Water” from the IGN review on Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or the “exaggerated swagger of a black teen” from the GameSpot review of Spiderman Miles Molars. While writing your review, you need to be very careful with your wording and tone. The “Too Much Water” or “exaggerated swagger of a black teen,” may seem harmless on paper. Unfortunately, they went viral in a negative way, and both editors ended up removing the quotes, modifying the reviews and apologizing for being insensitive. So, if I were you, I would be careful with your wording and have your review looked over by editors or your colleagues before sending it out. It’s important to do so because if people find something cringy or insensitive, they can hold it against you and your publisher.
5. Review your Game Review
Before you sent in your review, you need to make sure that the point that you were trying to make does make sense. Have the review read by a few of your colleagues to make sure your points are valid and they make sense. Also, you may want to look over your notes and see if you were able to cover all your points.
What tips do you have for writing game reviews?
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